At the time of its completion in the spring of 2004, the Communications Facility extended the academic core south of the Environmental Studies building. The plan then was for it eventually to form a quad with the Academic Instructional Center, then still on the drawing board.
Standing four stories tall with three aboveground floors and one basement level, the building remains the largest academic structure ever built on campus in a single phase, with 131,365 gross square feet. Funded by the Washington State Legislature, the facility was completed under the budgeted $40.4 million at $36.4 million.
The Communications Facility houses the communication, journalism, computer science and physics/astronomy departments, along with numerous classrooms, offices, computer labs and meeting spaces.